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SHOT Show 2019/My tales of adventure in Las Vegas

PART ONE OF FIVE
So, you wanna go to SHOT show? You think it's all fun and games? Get to play with guns? See Jesse James and James Yeager? SHOT show is the annual pilgrimage of the unwashed masses to Las Vegas to rub elbows with youtube celebrities, bloggers and overseas businessmen copying US made equipment and share infectious disease.
If you love guns, gambling and gonorrhea - SHOT show is for you! It is not my typical idea of a good time. I am not a big fan of Las Vegas.
However: I do attend for a few reasons. First, I do enjoy travel and I'm gold on UA so I can usually score an upgrade. Second, industry people are in there that I do hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars with business with so it's nice to put a face with the name and see what deals are out there. SHOT for me has been a bust for the past few years. Being a value guy, I want to buy at $1000 and sell at $3000 and as of recently the gun business is more like buy for $1 and sell for $1.10 if you get what I mean.
We used to do business at SHOT and now it's just checking in on foursquare, instagram and rubbing elbows with bloggers and the like. I want to make money, not spend money so this is very annoying to me.
Anyways, onto the play by play.
Saturday, January 19th. Three days before SHOT show.
I talk a friend of mine to drive me to the airport after I drop my F350 at the body shop. I had a hit and run and someone totally fucked up all my paint and clearcoat. My guy says he can get it done while I'm gone for SHOT so I hitch a ride with a friend and pick up the tab for lunch. We have brisket. It is delicious. I get to the airport 3 hours early for my flight just in case the TSA line is a shitshow thanks to, well TSA. The government shutdown is not helping these folks. I have pre check and much to my surprise I breeze right through after a brief 3 minute wait.
I slog my way to the lounge, as shitty as it is to wait for my winged chariot to IAH. I have gone from being in an abusive relationship with AA to being in an abusive relationship with UA. Although if you really want to experience the battered spouse feeling, NK is a few gates over.
I board my flight to IAH and my Renton assembled chariot is on time and boarding early. The hate agent scans my pass and the alarms go off and spits off a new boarding pass. I have been upgraded to first class. You all will be turning right, I will be turning left once I pass the threshold of 2L on this old 757. I'll take a cleared upgrade at the gate any day of the week considering that I am 29/53 for Bush to LAX.
Fuck my life.
I gate check my bags to make life easier for me and the rest of the folks riding with me. If I don't have to worry about being short on time at my destination, I like to gate check to free up bins for those who are not as fortunate. Eventually I board and ask the FA to say hi to the captain and get a ride report. She says no problem. I step down into the 757 flight deck and take some selfies with the crew. They appreciate my aviation nerdery. They tell me that there will be light chop all over texas today and we're going to have some bumps so strap in and don't be a hero.
Having brightened the day of the flight crew, I head back to my lie flat window seat, fully recline and kick back and relax by listening to channel 9 on the IFE. It's disabled. Fuck. I put on a movie and watch the delightful Tag with the always excellent Jon Hamm, Ed Helms and others. It's a good movie and made me laugh. Just as we get to the gate the credits roll.
We land at Bush right on time but I have a 59 minute spa layover I had planned OR I can go to Landrys with my priory pass and get some blackened snapper. Do I hightail it to the Centurion lounge in terminal D, my home away from home? Or go for fresh grilled seafood?
This centurion lounge does not have a spa. Fuck it, lets go cajun. I walk over to Landrys and order the blackened snapper. It is delicious. The kitchen is a little behind so they box it up the rest of it for me to take on the plane which they don't have to do and I leave the waitress a nice tip. I am sweating from the blackened seasoning. I don't care. NOM NOM NOM. Fish is delish.
They have already started boarding to LAX as I walk up to the gate. I ask the hate agent if there's any upgrades. She says first is checked in full and we are 100% packed to LAX today. I thank her and board my bulkhead seat to LAX with my blackened snapper in one hand and personal item in the other.
Giving the FA a friendly nod, I ask to say hi to the captain and she says no way boss, we're busy - sit down and shut up.
Rude.
The boarding door closes for an on time departure and I watch another classic - Wall Street!
I polish off the blackened snapper, dirty rice and green beans. Charlie Sheen before he went crazy was a pretty good actor. He's so dreamy. I'm sweating profusely from the blackened seasoning and get up to throw away my trash because I didn't want the other guys in coach to have to do it for me. I walk right up to the forward galley into Bitchy McBitchface who woke up on the wrong side of life starts telling me to use the coach lavatory. I tell her I just wanted to throw some trash away and she gave me more attitude than a sassy black woman working at the DMV.
Listen lady, if you don't wanna be dealing with trash - maybe you shouldn't be working for United, eh?
I take my seat and I fall asleep on the way to LA. The ride is smoother than my nephew's 16 month old ass. The flight was not long enough. The landing is a perfect grease job on 24R and the only thing awakening me from my slumber is the reversers on the 737 Max. I pull my headset out so I can tune in LAX ground on LiveATC just as we make the left for taxiway Alpha/Alpha. I see the taxiway signs out of the corner of my window and start the feed just as I hear the ding.
ding
What I'm expecting: Welcome to Los Angeles where the local time is 5:55. Your Houston based flight crew would like to thank you for flying United and your baggage will be at carousel (integer)
What I heard from a clearly panic stricken FA: IF THERE IS A DOCTOR OR ANYONE WITH MEDICAL TRAINING ON BOARD PLEASE RING YOUR CALL BUTTON.
Everyone wants to be a hero until it's time to do hero shit.
I reach up and press the button and a single chime tells the FA that row 9 pressed button.
ding
FA: If you are a doctor or have medical training please head to the rear galley immediately.
I dumped my phone in my seat. (This was my first mistake. I'll tell you why later.)
Shit. It's go time. The passengers next to me are soundly asleep and it's a full flight, so I unbuckle my belt and turnstile jump over the two of them making a resounding thud onto the cabin floor.
I promptly walked with a purpose to the rear cabin. As I'm heading back I hear someone else walking behind me but I'm focused on the long walk from the bulkhead to the rear galley. I arrive shortly and my immediate impression is that the rear galley is not in good shape.
Oh, the bitchface FA that told me off? She's now profusely thanking me for showing up. Funny how that works isn't it?
There's a woman lying across three jumpseats on oxygen screaming in pain with a clearly experienced physician working on her and checking her out. I am not about to get in his way. Right behind me is a six foot three beast of a man who I can only imagine used to play right wing for Detroit. Doc 1 is working her, there's me and Doc 2 is behind me.
Doc 1 tells us she's got shortness of breath and chest pains.
Doc 2 nods and says he's a trauma surgeon from Cedars Sinai.
Doc 1 tells us he's an internal medicine specialist at UCLA.
Doc 2 asks me what my specialty is.
FC says structural firefighting and making sure you two get everything you need.
Doc 2 looks at the FA and asks if they got an AED on board.
I look up at the nearest overhead and there's an AED in the compartment, I bust it out and hand it to him. They start sizing her up as we taxi down Alpha/Alpha. I stand in the aisle inbetween the two bathroom doors as they do their thing ready to help out.
(FC breaks the fourth wall)
FOR THE UNINITIATED: United is in terminals 7/8 on the south side of LAX. When you land next to In-and-Out Burger on Sepuldeva you're on the north side of the field. It's easily a 20 minute ride to get from one side of the airport to another when they're busy. Prime time for LAX is 1800hrs because you have all the morning flights from the east and the afternoon flights from the central time zone arriving.
When you have a medical emergency and time is a factor, a 20 minute ride to the gate is what we call sub optimal. There's hard stand/remote gates at LAX on the northwest side of the field surface street adjacent that you can get to a lot faster than a long haul around the airport. If you give me a choice of going to the hard stand and meeting the ambulance or taking a 15-20 minute taxi during rush hour to a UA staffed ramp - I will GLADLY take to the hard stand, shut down and start em up. Yes, it's going to inconvenience a plane full of people for 20 minutes for you to unload, restart and taxi back. No, I give zero fucks.
My mistake was leaving my phone behind. Had I had it with me, I would have known we were going long way around and applied some intervention techniques to get things moving faster. I had no idea where we were.
(Cut to present)
Doc 1 managed the best he could and the lady said inbetween raspy breaths that she was going to start vomiting from the pain. Doc calls for a bag. The FA takes the safety equipment bag, the one holding the lifevest, seatbelt extender and oxygen mask and empties it.
OH FOR FUCKS SAKE. I reach over to the nearest passenger, pull all the contents of the seatback out, dump it on the floor and hand doc 1 a United brand official airsick bag. Just as I do this and I step back, the plane rapidly slows down and begins to turn.
(FC breaks the fourth wall again)
I used the term suboptimal earlier, and this is going to be a theme for the rest of the trip. Boeing in their infinite wisdom decided to stretch a 737 design and call it the MAX instead of doing a clean sheet. Three FA's, two doctors, me, and our lady experiencing chest pains are in the rear galley all not wearing seatbelts. All but the patient are standing. We are something like 80 feet behind the main landing gear.
Inertia is not our friend today. I start falling and I grab the only thing I can on the way down: the door handle to the lavatory.
(Cut to present)
Next thing I know, I've experienced what the FAA would probably term a "Lavatory Incursion" - and I wonder where my life has gone wrong as my knee has hit the toilet bowl. I get back up and prop a hand up on the cabin ceiling just to steady myself for the rest of the ride to the gate.
I look towards the front of the plane and notice something. Some fuckwit in row 29 is livestreaming this on instagram or some crap. Are you fucking shitting me? I lean over to the purser and tell her that while Doc 1 and 2 are fixing her, I'm gonna go do some fixing of my own about 10 rows up. My resting bitch face is on point right now as I walk up to the tactless millennial inconsiderate smartphone user and get ready to fix this problem in a way honed by years of catholic school, brute force and dealing with shithead customers.
FC: Just what do you think you're doing?
1: I'm livestreaming this on twitter. It's my right.
FC: You're gonna delete whatever you filmed right now.
1: Or what are you gonna do about it?
FC: You see that FA over there? The one that looks like she's not taking any shit from anybody today? I'm gonna ask her for the intercom, I'm gonna call the captain and my friends over at the LAPD are gonna haul your ass in front of a judge and the next place you're gonna be livestreaming from is the back of a police car. And let me tell you something you might not know. There's two ways to enjoy LA Jail on a Saturday night. One's a Richard Pryor album. The other's when a skinny inked up ginger white boy like you walks in. Give me that goddamn phone.
I'm handed the phone and I delete the video as I walk back to the rear galley and put it in my back pocket. People are now asking if they're gonna make their connections and shit and I tell them to shut up, we've got more important things going on. As I walk back I peek through the windows seeing nothing but darkness. How long does it take to get to the gate? And even then, is there an ambulance waiting there?
What the fuck is happening? Where the fuck are we?
I ask Bitch McBitchface how long these symptoms have been going on. Apparently this issue had just arisen upon landing. Doc 1 asks for a stethoscope. I pull down the first aid kit from the compartment. It requires keys. The cabin crew has to find the keys for the first aid kit. I'm eventually handed a key and bust out a stethoscope for the doc. I peer out the window of the rearmost seats looking for signs of a gate, ambulance or anything I can reference to figure out where we are - the tower, a 777 tail which would tell me we are nearing the international terminal.....nothing but darkness.
This is not good.
Doc keeps the O2 flowing as we are all standing there helpless waiting for the plane to get to the ambulance or vice versa. The cabin crew asks how they're going to get her off the plane.
FC: Well she's in no condition to walk, can you get the rampers to put air stairs on 2L and take her off that way? It would be easier and optimal.
FA: I don't think we are able to do that
(It is at this point I think I smell toast. WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU CAN'T DO THAT? GET ON THE INTERCOM AND TELL THE CAPTAIN THAT THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE TO TAKE HER OFF THE PLANE VIA 2L AND STAIRS WTF)
I get that what is happening is clearly exceeding the crew's training but this is.....bad. Eventually we arrive at the gate and the fine folks at Station 51 from LAFD EMS arrive. The EMT sizes it up and calls for an aisle chair to be brought to take her off the plane since she can't walk. (WE HAVE BEEN SAYING THIS THE WHOLE TIME!)
They load her up and I step out of the way into the lavatory, I see them wheel her out through a crack in the door. I take this chance to do a bit from spies like us.
I look to my left and extend my hand. Doctor. I nod. I repeat to the right. They also repeat the bit. We chuckle.
I look towards Doc 2.
FC: Hey Docs, I didn't catch your names. I'm Will. Will Hayden.
Doc 2: George, George Rodriguez.
FC: Good work there Dr Rodriguez. Thanks for helping out.
Doc 2: We're doctors. It's what we do.
Doc 1: Hiya Will, I'm Charlie Fong.
FC: Nice work today Dr Fong. Thank you for showing up.
We start walking back to our seats as I snort out a laugh.
FC: So, Dr Fong.....I guess it's safe to say that United has successfully smoothed things over with the Asian physician community?
The doc's have a two Mississippi awkward pause as they begun laughing hysterically. Please, tip your waitresses. Try the veal. I'm here all night. Tactless millennial asks me to return phone, and I hand it back as we walk back to our seats.
EMS clears the plane, captain tells people that they can now leave and a cacophony of seat belt buckles pierces the high pitched drone that is a 737 sitting at the gate without engines running on shore power.
I ask Bitchy if I can see the captain on the way out as she once more thanks me for my service. She stuck her head in, got a nod and let me pass. I asked the captain why we landed on the north side of the field with an onboard medical and why we didn't get priority handling from the ground controller and why the hell it took so long to get to the gate.
His response was staggering.
CA: We didn't even know there was an emergency in the galley until the FA told us. By then we were almost to the terminal.
FC: Are you fucking kidding me?
CA: Nope. By the time we knew something was going on we were already on the ground and almost to the gate.
We talk airplane briefly about the 737 Max, the new jumpseats and I wish them a good rest of the trip. I secretly think he's got to be shitting me.
Being a good aviation nerd, I made mental note to check his work after I got back to the hotel.
I head to the lounge in LAX for a bite to eat, a sprite and some very boring time to myself. Just as I walk into the terminal there's a voicemail from my uncle. My plan for LA was to see my family - and my cousin and his wife who's pregnant with their second kid. I crash at my uncle's house in Pasadena and walk around old town and shop at Vromans Bookstore and enjoy all that Southern California has to offer. It's a good way to spend a weekend. If you ever get a chance, do it. It's fun. I can pay United a shitload of money to fly into McCarran on Monday or I can spend 1/3 of that and go into LAX a few days before and hop over for $45. I love LA.
NEW VOICEMAIL FROM UNCLE LOU: Family emergency, we all have to head to Chicago because Lisa's mom is in the hospital and we can't see you this weekend. You're on your own. I'm on my way to Burbank to catch the last flight to Midway. Talk to you later.
Fuck.
Time for an FC adventure.
I order some food in the lounge and crack open the laptop. One of my customers works for LAFD. I find his personal cell phone number in my sales records.
ring ring
1: Go for Smith
FC: Chief Smith! Will Hayden here! How's that M110 running?
1: Will...holy shit long time no talk. What's going on?
FC: Family bailed on me for this weekend, gotta make my own adventure. You working tomorrow? I'd love to see how LA does things.
1: No, but I have some friends on C shift that are. Let me see who's gonna be around. Let me call you back in 10.
FC: You got it Chief.
I eat and drink and relax and the phone rings back. Chief smith says be at station 9 at 0800 hrs Sunday morning. I say no problem! Thanks! He tells me to check in with the captain of the truck crew and he'll show me around.
While I'm on the laptop I book the marriott in Torrance. It's near the airport and a 25 minute ride to station 9. Little did I know it's next to a goddamn oil refinery and the housekeeping staff have left all the windows to my room open. Ugh. I kick back and take a shower. When I get back, I pulled all the ATC tape from LAX tower, from landing clearance to touchdown to the ground controller handoff to the checkpoint, to the request for medical assistance and timestamped all of it.
The request to LAX ground for EMS was made somewhere on taxiway bravo after passing papa (TBIT) but before Charlie-6. (T7). By that time we were already on the south side of the field and terminal adjacent.
Cabin crew didn't tell the captain to request EMS till we got to the other side of the fucking airport. From the moment I walked up, I had assumed (incorrectly) that prior to the request for medical assistance they would at least have told the captain what was going on. They didn't and he was flying blind. When you do a CPR class the first thing you do is call 911 and ask for an ambulance because it does not matter how much CPR you do if an ambulance never shows up to take you to the hospital.
There's a lesson to be learned here.
When seconds count, the request for EMS is waiting for the plane to get to the terminal to be called.
I knew United wasn't great, but this is to use a southern california term - no bueno.
The Westchester In and Out Burger has a 4x4 with my name on it and it is DELICIOUS. After I finish eating I hop on the hangout with the guys.
Since I've got no plans till morning I decide that it's worth the crazy time and I call u/gunexpert69 and we make plans to hang out at his local watering hole. We then try to pick up some flight attendants at the Doubletree. We fail miserably and call it a night.
Sunday, January 20th. Two days before SHOT show.
My alarm is set for 727AM. It rings, I wash up, jump in the car and put free fallin by Tom Petty on the radio and hop onto 405 south to pick up 110 north. The freeways are empty and I make incredible time downtown. I look down at the address and wonder where the fuck I am going. 7th and San Julian St? I drive around and there are tents on the sidewalk everywhere. This is the closest I have seen to life in a WROL situation. Eventually I find a spot on 7th street, bang on the door and the guys tell me to pull my car into the back lot. I do so and the guys are having breakfast and invite me to sit down and grab a bite.
When in Rome......
I grab some eggs, bacon and a biscuit and the truck captain comes by and says oh you know Smith? Apparently they came up in the same academy class and are old friends. He sticks his head out the door and yells at one of the guys and pantomimes some instructions. I don't speak ASL so I just nod and take it in. He runs down what they're doing today. LA tradition is that weekends are for the boys so they do training on weekends. It's 820AM and they've setup a training scenario and are gonna run it. This looks cool.
One of the guys comes back and hands me a headset, saladbowl and turnout coat. Captain says you're with me in the truck. Gear up.
Uh. What?
CA: Yeah, Chief Smith said you'd be riding along with us today. Right?
FC: LOL! I thought he was just gonna do a station visit. Sure, I'll ride with you guys.
CA: You ever see a TDA before?
FC: I used to be on the engine or the quint so this is gonna be new.
CA: Well, jump in. Lets go.
My ride to LA was a 737 max made in Renton that just came off the line January 17th. My ride to Skid Row was a 100' Pierce Arrow XT Tractor Drawn Aerial that was three years old. I hopped in and we drove around to the training location where the guys were to setup the ladder and pretend like they were venting a roof on a 5 story building. I was told to go shadow the command post as they'd be evaluating the guys and they had a good training day. LA has a good group of people and it shows. They did a post training debrief, simulated a dry hydrant and talked about everything they did, everything they did badly and everything they could do better.
LA has some fantastic people there that are very talented. The guys started putting tools away and rolling hose. I find the captain over on one of the engines and ask him if they need help with anything. He says if you want to help out, we're breaking down that attack line you can drain it.
FC: You guys straight roll to a flat load right?
CA: Yeah. You know hose?
FC: Drivers do it with hose.
CA: LOL! Hadn't heard that one before! Here's some gloves.
He gave me some gloves, I straight rolled three sections of three quarter line and hauled it all back to the engine where I found the truck captain loading hose with his guys. If anyone wants to see where real leadership is, it's helping your guys load hose and pack up tools.
I hook up and look up as I notice their technique. LA flat loads all their attack line, no preconnects. Two guys in the bed dressing and dutching it, one guy on the ground, straight roll between the boots pulling hose straight up into the engine. Gets any residual water out and they can check the gaskets every length. Never seen that done before but it looks like a smooth technique. I hook up the last of their attack line as the guys finish packing up. The bells come in and there's an automatic fire alarm tripped. First call of the morning. We hop over there and its' a false alarm.
The rest of the day is spent with station 9 watching the various indigenous folks of Skid Row do their thing. Station 9 is the busiest fire station in the nation. Before lunch they ran 3 overdoses, 2 stabbings, and a cacophany of crap. I went with them and their ambulance drivers and EMT's really earn every dollar they make working this area. After a quick break for lunch, they start watching the Rams game. Just as it got good, bells came in for another few calls and next thing I knew - the Rams were going to the super bowl and the dinner bell was ringing.
I decided it would be overstaying my welcome to hang out for dinner so I packed up and bought a shirt and told the guys if they ever needed guns to shout at me. Drove over to Grand Central Market to get a bite to eat and then grabbed some in and out burger on my way back to the hotel. txgi is sloshed and in no position to travel after watching the patriots destroy KC.
It's been a crazy day and the beginning of a crazy trip. And it's just getting started.
Monday, January 21st. One day before SHOT Show
I wake up late, grab lunch at the Del Amo mall and do some shopping. My flight to McCarran leaves at 7PM and arrives just after 8PM. Knowing rush hour traffic in LA I decide to leave early and get to the airport at 430. I hightail it to the lounge in TBIT and grab a bite to eat and relax. I'm on an Alaska A320 to McCarran all the way in the back but at least I got a window seat. I stop in on the way to talk to the captain and he asks me a bunch of gun questions. I tell him the VP9 is good to go and he should buy it with his ATP credentials.
The 320 ride to LAS is entirely filled with moderate chop. The airplane is literally banging the side of the plane into my head. It is a miserable flight. We land on time and I am unable to stop at the Centurion lounge for a bite and a drink because it's closed for renovations.
I grab my bags and pick up my badge for SHOT Show at the airport and jump on the shuttle bus to Hertz. I reserved a compact knowing I'd need to be in and out of a tight parking garage. I get to my assigned spot, spot 13 and there's a fullsize Chevy Suburban there.
What the fuck is this?
I throw my bags inside, jump in and drive right up to the Gold Member service area.
FC: The lady on the phone asked me compact, midsize or fullsize - WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?
Hertz: That's the Hertz Love Wagon! Think of all the ladies you can drive around in this!
FC: DO I LOOK LIKE A GODDAMN LYFT FOR WORKING GIRLS?
It is at this point where I learn something.
The best part about Vegas is anything crazy or unbelievable can be explained or justified by shrugging your shoulders, opening your palms upward and saying "It's Vegas!"
Hertz: It's Vegas!
FC: I am not driving (gesticulates widlly) THIS into the parking garage of the Palazzo for 4 days straight!
Hertz is not impressed with my pantomime.
They find me a brand new 2019 Honda Pilot with 19 miles on it. I hightail it up the highway to Circus Circus. Check in line is totally deserted. I am able to haul my bags up and get keys in 3 minutes flat. That's gotta be a fucking record.
Just as I arrive at my room I decide to send Rusty Shackleford a picture of me looking grumpy in front of the hertz love wagon.
RS: ARE YOU IN VEGAS?!?!?!??!?!?
FC: YES!!!! WHY ARE WE YELLING?!?!?!??!?
(image of Rusty coming down the escalator with the sign behind him that says WELCOME TO LAS VEGAS in the background)
FC: Oh dear god. I just got to the hotel to dump off my bags, you want a ride? I can be there in 20.
RS: Nah man we just landed a few min ago I was gonna take an uber
FC: By the time you get to the rideshare area it'll be 20 minutes. I can be there by the time you get to the curb. Seriously.
RS: LOL okay head over!
I look at my watch. Las Vegas Blvd traffic on a monday night? This isn't gonna work. I grab my coat and run back to the parking garage and tear out of the CC garage tires squealing all the way down. I bang a left onto Sammy Davis Jr Drive and haul ass to Spring mountain where I jump on 15 and get the car up to 100MPH between mandalay bay and 215.
McCarran Airport SUCKS in many regards and the airport pickup is one of them. It's not laid out well at all but it makes the cabbies plenty of money. I find it kinda funny because this year I'm picking up Rusty. Last year I was picking up a coworker of a buddy of mine who needed his SHOT show pass and there was no way to get it to him that night so I just said fuck it, give me the pass and I'll get it to him and drive him to the hotel. The year before, I picked up u/fluffy_butternut.
I guess I am the world's worst uber driver. I like doing the same bit over and over again like beating a dead horse so I can pickup Rusty one of to ways.
A: The classic Las Vegas Airport pickup. Drive to airport and park car on curb. Wait for metro PD to start yelling at you for parking on the sidewalk. Message Rusty to tell him I'm the one parked on the sidewalk.
B: In my best Arnold Schwarzenegger impression: COME WITH ME IF YOU WANT TO LIVE
My calculations were rough but I figured rusty should get to the curb right at the same time as me. If he's there already, we do B. If he's not, I'll do A.
The speed limit in the tunnel under the airport is 55. I'm doing 90. I fly up the ramp to Terminal 1 and tell him that I'll grab him at the American arrivals level. Just as I pull off to the curb to tell him I'm here he tells me he's just walked outside and I look up and see a classically hawaiian shirt standing at the curb. I pull the car forward, stop quickly and do my best Arnold. He laughs and hops in. I take him to his hotel and dump him off at registration as I park the car. I spend 20 minutes parking the car and I walk over to registration to find him still in line. The hotel is packed with people for the convention.
Behind us is a beautiful blonde engineer in town for what I'm guessing is World of Concrete based on the blueprints she's brought with her. I chat her up a bit until I see that she's got a wedding ring on her other hand. We head up to rusty's room where we find a king size bed and a hot tub 5 feet away. You don't even need to leave your bed to drown a hooker if you don't want to.
It's Vegas!
Rusty says lets go down to the casino and lose some money. We head down to the casino and lose some money at the craps table. This trip is not treating me nicely. I tell him I gotta tap out. Show in the morning.
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SHOT 2017/My tales of adventure in Las Vegas

So, you wanna go to SHOT show? You think it's all fun and games? Get to play with guns? See Jesse James and R. Lee Ermey? SHOT show is the annual pilgrimage of the unwashed masses to Las Vegas to rub elbows with youtube celebrities, bloggers and overseas businessmen copying US made equipment and share infectious disease.
If you love guns, gambling and gonorrhea - SHOT show is for you! It is not my typical idea of a good time. I am not a big fan of Las Vegas.
However: I do attend for a few reasons. First, I do enjoy travel and I'm platinum on AA so I can usually score an upgrade. Second, industry people are in there that I do hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars with business with so it's nice to put a face with the name and see what deals are out there. SHOT for me has been a bust for the past few years. Being a value guy, I want to buy at $1000 and sell at $3000 and as of recently the gun business is more like buy for $1 and sell for $1.10 if you get what I mean.
We used to do business at SHOT and now it's just checking in on foursquare, instagram and rubbing elbows with bloggers and the like. I want to make money, not spend money so this is very annoying to me.
Anyways, onto the play by play.
Monday, January 16th. One day before SHOT show.
http://imgur.com/a/HoFUm
Every time I've been rejected by a woman, I move $1 from checking into savings and I take the bankroll down to the Wynn for some play. Lets do this.
The TSA line is a shitshow thanks to, well TSA.
I slog my way to the lounge, as shitty as it is to wait for my winged chariot to DFW. I have gone from being in an abusive relationship with Delta to being in an abusive relationship with AA. Although if you really want to experience the battered spouse feeling, UA is a few gates over. This trip's light reading is trying to finish "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell. Such a good book as well as "Outliers" if you want a good read.
I walk up to the podium to find out that my upgrades do not clear, even as an AA Plat thanks to the addition of a FOURTH elite tier. Goddamn fucking W. Doug Parker. Asshole. I gate check my bags to make life easier for me and the rest of the folks. The gate agent calls concierge key and executive platinum passengers. I look down and realize I'm wearing a suit and board with the executive platinum folks because I do not care and I look the part. If you walk with a purpose and are dressed reasonably well, you fit the profile. I settle into my window seat and try to finish outliers. I pass out before takeoff and I'm awoken by the dulcet tones of the flight attendants preparing for landing. We land at Dallas a few minutes early and I hightail it to the Centurion for a quick bite to eat. I grab a plate and help myself to some of the excellent brisket, pecan encrusted chicken and some roasted jumbo asparagus. Yes, my pee is going to smell funny. No, I do not care. The lounge is packed. The bar is full and I grab a quick single malt as I have my meal since American's not going to feed me. They begin boarding to Mccarran as I walk out of the lounge. No time for a stop in the spa on this trip. I make it to the gate just as the call group 2 boarding.
I bypass the main line and walk up through the priority line giving no heed to the people that have been waiting there before me as I hold up my paper boarding pass with PLATINUM to the gate agent. I board and take my usual seat - the exit row without the seat in front of it. I'm aghast to see this sight.
http://imgur.com/a/dygil
The savages. Literally. The savages.
I put my loathing away for a moment and look down at the exit row. I have the window. The aisle is a large middle aged man and in the middle is what I believe to be a formecurrent linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys wearing a 52 regular sports jacket. He's not a fat guy in a little coat, he's a big fucking hulk of a man stuffed in an exit row seat that is already an inch narrower due to the tray table. I grimace as I take my seat and give him the manly nod. He does not look happy about the fact that his knees are in the seat in front and I'm stretched out like a Cheshire cat in front of a fireplace on a cold January afternoon.
The boarding door closes for an on time departure and Stephanie the FA takes her seat. He leans over and asks if he can take the empty row across the aisle and she takes one look at the three of us and gives him the nod. I bail out to give him a path of egress and suddenly the trip to Las Vegas has just become way more comfortable. I finish The Tipping Point somewhere over west texas, so I pop a xanax and dr pepper and zone out for the rest of the ride. I awake to feel one of the FA's jostling me awake telling me to put my seat up. I do so and we have a ride so smooth that not even the Delta guy behind me can complain about light chop. We catch the TYSSN4 arrival and the next thing I know it the Messier Dowty landing gear of the A321 touch the paint at Mccarran for a smooth rollout down 25L.
My phone battery is approaching grim death since this seat has no power plugs and I find bartman383 has sent me a message. He has been enjoying LV with his wife and their due to bad weather they are in the city of sin for a few extra nights. He invites me to dinner. I'm still pretty full from DFW and I tell him I'll be over there once I get my bags and the car and I'll see him when I see him. He gives me the info for the hotel as we pull up to the gate.
First stop: Centurion lounge. AA's app tells me bags being unloaded. I grab a quick bite of fried chicken and brussels sprouts since they are good for you and a chocolate pudding. The brisket and pecan encrusted chicken from DFW still has me full but I'm well aware of the speed of a union baggage handlers nowadays and who doesn't like chocolate pudding? Terrorists. That's who. Want to know how to screen for terrorists TSA? Set up a table of free chocolate pudding at the airport. The people who don't take any are members of ISIS. It's just that simple.
I grab my bag and hoof it to Hertz. I'm an idiot and I am an hour late for my pickup. Oops. Will an Audi A3 suffice? I sigh and I accept my Teutonic quattro chariot. I do a burnout in the parking garage and hightail it to the exit. I flash my #1 card and my ID and the gatekeeper gives me the go ahead. I get onto the the strip and traffic is awful. I'm going to be late for dinner. I make a left onto Russell Road and hightail it up the 15. I manage to get the car up to 100 as I pass the Luxor. My phone is dead so I can't message Bart about being late. Fuck. The exit approaches quickly as I put the 4 wheel disk brakes to work and sling the car around and head south on Las Vegas Bl. I accidentally turn into the Bellagio and I'm now running even more late. Fuck. Eventually, I get the car into the garage at the Cosmopolitan and head upstairs. I cannot remember the name of the restaurant but I head up to the third floor where all the restaurants are and I see this sign that's reminiscent of my days in retail.
It says RESTAURANT - LOUNGE - PAWN SHOP.
I laugh. I walk in. It's literally a pawnshop. I look around puzzled.
FC: Is this a restaurant?
Bald Headed Guy: Yes, through that door.
He points towards a door. I walk in to find a bustling restaurant, lounge via the entrance of pawnshop. This is insane. I pass a mirror and check myself out. I adjust my tie, after all it is YSL and the ladies LOVE YSL. Remember that. I find the hostess and inform her I will be joining some friends for dinner. They probably do not have me on the reservation though but I turn on the charm and she smiles and says no problem at all. She asks if my tie is from Hermes. I say no, I'm a YSL guy. She looks impressed as I tell her I'll make a quick lap of the room to see if they're there and surprise them. She gives me a nod and tells me to go right ahead. Still got it.
I spot bart and his wife who I can only remember vaguely from gunnitlive after party video and I pull up a chair. Bart is surprised to see I made it and they are in the middle of dinner. They offer to ply me with food and beverage but I decline as I'm driving so no booze for me and no food since I am stuffed from Dallas. We chat about life and liberty over libations. Bart's wife thinks I am hysterical. She's had a few drinks and they are already into their main courses. The brussels sprouts are way too salty and we have to send it back. No bueno.
Bart invites me up to his suite on the top floor of the hotel where we are to meet Brogelicious later in the evening. I say, when in rome......we head to the top floor of the hotel tower where Bart shows me his view from the balcony and cracks open the mini bar for some more libations. He asks if I want a drink and I say I better not. I'm driving.
Not 30 seconds after arriving, brogel shows up. Bart's wife hugs brogel. She's infatuated with him. We start shooting the shit and bart opens up the minibar and tells us to take anything we want, it's on the hotel. I laugh and I look outside as bart opens his yeti 110 for some silver bullets. Apparently he is so baller the hotel will send up a yeti 110 filled with beer to make him happy. His wife is apparently such a baller. I ball on a budget. They just ball. Hahaha.
We shoot the shit some more about guns, gun stuff and people on the reddit for a while. I get a little thirsty and I crack open bart's cooler. I ask him how long the stuff in the cooler is supposed to last and he says until Wednesday.
I look down and I am agape at what I see.
We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers... Also, a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can. The only thing that really worried me was the ether. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge, and I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon.
I mentally prepared my butthole and I decided to help myself to a coors light against my wishes but Bart, Bart's wife and Brogel are all drinking so I let peer pressure take hold as I cracked open a beer with them. We head out to the balcony to smoke some cuban cigars together as bart's wife takes a photo of all of us. We all look like hell. Haha.
As bart downs his second beer, he asks me a question.
Bart: ever go hunting?
Me: Ducks a little bit but not much
Bart: ever want to hunt some deadly game?
Me: Like on african safari?
Bart: No, I mean like.........man.
Me: Hahahahhahaaha you're just fucking with me. Hahahahahhaa. That's really funny.
Bart: No really, the concierge here at this hotel will set it up for us. It's amazing. I remember my first hunt......
Brogel starts laughing and I realize they've been doing a bit. I've been had.
We bullshit about SHOT and Barrett's shotguns and other things and next thing I know, it's late but bart hands me a mixed drink. I sip it a bit and I was in the middle of a tirade complaining about my customers. Suddenly, there was a terrible roar all around us, and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the city, and a voice was screaming: Holy Jesus. What are these goddamn animals? Nobody seems to understand what I'm talking about. It's cold on the balcony. Our cigars are done. We head indoors. No point in mentioning these bats, I thought. Poor bastards will see them soon enough.
Back indoors I realize Brussels sprouts and coors light is a bad choice. Seriously no bueno. I excuse myself to the bathroom and drain the vein. The asparagus funny smelling pee and the side effects of beer and brussels sprouts is a noxious combination that a defense contractor should weaponize it. It's pretty bad and not even cuban tobbaco can mask the smell.
I sit back down and continue to talk about guns and stuff with bart and the gang and bart asks who ruined the bathroom. I apologize as he sprays a bunch of febreze around and opens the balcony. I apolgize to brogel. He is not accepting my apology. (sorry :( )
Nearly 11, it's about time to pull chocks and mosey on down the dusty trail. I don't want to prompt an evacuation of the hotel due to noxious odors so I decide to leave and bart seems to be kinda mad that I've ripped ass and polluted the sanctuary of his hotel. Half a coors light and brussels sprouts are no bueno in my book now. Bart decides to party hard with his wife and I offer brogel a ride home. He seems skeptical to share a confined space with me after I have just destroyed bart's hotel room. The car has 4 windows and the Uber will cost him a few bucks he can put towards ammo. He relents as we head down to the garage to find my car. Thankfully we find it quickly and I manage to contain the weapons of ass destruction for the 16 minute ride off strip to casa de brogel.
He says I'm not that bad a dude and I agree as I hightail it to my hotel. I cannot find my hotel reservations so I call my travel agent to see.
Apparently the Wynn was not in my travel budget this year. I have come to find out I have been booked at Circus Circus, much to my chagrin. How bad could it be? I've stayed at the Wynn. I've stayed at Encore. I've stayed at the hotel that Elisabeth Shue's character got raped in in Leaving Las Vegas - but Circus Circus? Did I mention that I HATE CLOWNS? I HATE CLOWNS. Fuck.
I pull into the parking garage and the check in line resembles something straight out of the TSA line at Mccarran. 45 minutes to check in. The clerk is friendly and says he's also from Louisiana which is neat. He asks if I've stayed there before and I, being a connoisseur of old vegas history I decide to make a joke and I tell him the last time I was there, Jay Sarno owned the place. He got a laugh. I head up to my room and unpack. The lobby is clean as an old vegas casino can be, the room is clean and there's no way to plug anything in since the hotel predates personal electronic devices. I plug my phone into my external battery and collapse on the bed. I message Bart and chugbleach instead of falling asleep about show tomorrow and I offer to pick bart up early since there is no shuttle from the cosmo.
Tuesday, November 16th SHOT Show Day One
I awoke several hours later in a daze......the clock said 10AM. The show opened at 8:30. Fuck me to tears. I hurry up and get dressed and down to the sands convention center. The parking lot is FULL. The entire complex is a mess. When my man Steve Wynn built his joint he didn't build enough parking. So people would park at the Venetian and now FUCKING NOBODY CAN GET A PARKING SPACE. Holy shit. I eventually say fuck it and park over at the Wynn and walk over to the Sands. I meet up with a few of my regular suppliers and I see nothing interesting at all. Bart went to bed at 6AM after spending all night partying with his wife over at the palazzo. I joke and say that he just should have stayed there. Bart is amazed at the size of the show and we have lunch at the most disgusting place in las vegas - the convention center bistro snack bar. Bart is a wise man as he grabs a powerade and a fruit cup. I decide to try an "italian beef" and a fruit cup instead of fries to stay semi health conscious. The "italian beef" is the most disgusting thing I have ever eaten. It is flat out depressing. They give me fries with it and I demand a fruit cup. The sassy black woman working the stand asks me "DID YOU ASK FOR FRUIT? CAUSE RIGHT HERE SAYS FRIES" and I channel my inner Louis CK from the "this is how I talk" bit from SNL as I shoot back "WHY YOU FRONTIN ON ME I ASKED FOR FRUIT AND YOUR ASS BETTER BACK UP AND GET ME SOME FRUIT" so she goes back and gets me some fruit.
The "italian beef", my fruit cup, bart's fruit cup and powerade comes to $81. My platinum amex comes out and I treat bart to "lunch". We bullshit about guns and stuff in the Springfield booth as we wait at the world's worst concession stand. We eat and Bart is so hungover that he thinks he is in need of physical therapy and a wheelchair. There is no way he is going to party tonight before his trip home. Or so I think. Haha.
I meander around the show a bit more and I find this, the most USELESS PRODUCT OF 2017. It's made by a company called radetec.
http://imgur.com/a/GOiCB
It's a shot counter. For your gun.
A digital odometer, for your gun.
The only person that would buy this is the guy like my dad that kept a spiral bound notebook in his car where he documented how many miles he traveled per tank, gallons dispensed, PRICE, service station and whether they had a different price for cash/charge, oil consumption, tire rotations, alignments, all services - scheduled or otherwise, and a running odometer. Does anyone know the gun owner who asks for a round count when they are looking at a used gun? The question I always shoot back is "do you want to be lied at a little or do you want to be lied at a lot?" because that's what you're asking for when you ask for round count.
UNLESS YOU BUY THIS PRODUCT!
I roll my eyes so far back into my head that I nearly lose my balance. This is idiotic. I cannot fathom anyone willing to buy this. What a waste of perfectly good exhibition space.
Bart heads back to his hotel after visiting SHOT show for a few hours, not getting any swag and to get an IV of fluids since he looked like he was rapidly approaching grim death.
I wrap up visiting prime vendors and checking out the new products, or lack thereof because I have something on the schedule. At 4:30 there's a suicide prevention for retailers seminar hosted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. As many of you know this is an issue that is important to me and perhaps we as retailers should be doing more. The keynote was from their chief medical director talking about the accessibility of firearms and the mindset of the "typical" suicide. Mostly men. If you are a veteran you are at a significantly larger risk. The information was presented very not surprisingly and one of the things discussed was that we only spend around 21M a year on suicide prevention.
A few take away facts from the keynote:
When suicide barriers are put up on a bridge, suicide rates for the entire area drop. The key to preventing suicide is getting people to talk about their problems. Once you can get someone out of that mindset, they are statistically less likely to do it and live productive lives afterwards. There are certain terms that they are trying to get away from - for instance, they are not saying "committed suicide" they are now saying "died by suicide" in order to bring awareness and tell it like it is.
One thing that really was interesting to me was my reading on the flight in from Dallas. In The Tipping Point, Gladwell discusses how things stay the same and suddenly they all change. One of the things that he discusses is in micronesia - where teen suicide was practically unheard of became an outright epidemic. One teenager did it, for reasons passing understanding to me as an outsider and then all the other kids realized that they too could escape their pain by hanging themselves as well and suddenly the suicide rates in micronesia became so high to where it became a public health issue. I wish I could show you all the article I wrote on TTAG about my friend's death but it has been lost in the cloud and I am unable to find the last draft I sent to print, but it echoes some of the problems we have with suicide and mental health in the firearm industry.
After the keynote, the good doctor opened the floor up for questions. Her keynote posed a lot of statistics but not a lot of answers. I am a detail oriented granular data guy and I did not get a solid grasp of the AFSP solutions posed, if any.
Several firearm dealers discussed the lack of a cohesive solution and the takeaway was they're trying to develop awareness for the suicide problem. Their goal is to lower suicide rates but how they get there is yet to be determined. I didn't like hearing that and the comments from the crowd reflected the lack of a "here's what you can do TODAY to help this problem" part of the initiative.
Going around the room, one dealer who used NICS said that if a customer was just flat out acting funny - he'd lie to the customer and say there was a delay with NICS even though there was an approval just to get them to not be able to have a gun for a few days. The crowd applauded this initiative, however I'm not sure lying to customers is the best way to run a business and treat them with respect. Another dealer brought up an interesting point. When someone comes in looking to buy a gun and they don't know what kind of gun they want, what caliber, and are generally clueless - they're either buying a gun to kill themselves with, OR perhaps they are a very uneducated prospective customer - and there is no clear way of finding out which is which.
The problems presented by the AFSP are real. The solutions aren't there though. Yet. Ideally I'd like to see some change to that. However, there's some problems.
I hung around and asked the good doctor and her staff some questions and I am in no way denigrating her life's work and her dedication to preventing suicide since she has dedicated her life's work to the issue, but the conversation went something like this.
Did you do any research on the accessibility of firearms from a retailer from the legal standpoint?
"No, we haven't"
Do you know how the NICS or state POC background systems work in regard to mental health holds, etc?
"No"
One of the problems that I foresee right off the bat is that you talked about how you are fighting time, and if you can get someone out of that suicide mindset - even for a few hours, you can get them into that higher survival bracket. If we apply a one size fits all solution to it like California and put a 10 day wait on everything with the goal of protecting someone from their own life, how do we balance that with the needs of the woman who has been hiding from her abusive spouse and needs a gun right away?
"That's a good question that I don't have an answer for."
Their initiative, I admire - the lack of solutions is a little off putting however. I tell the doc about how my friend's suicide has impacted me and she seems to be sympathetic to the situation as does her colleagues. I am given her cards and told to call the next time I'm in New York so we can get together and discuss things within the industry. I'll give them a buzz in a few weeks when I'm up there on business. On my way out of the hall, I run into Massad Ayoob. Nice guy. I've admired his work over the years. Bart invites myself and chugbleach to dinner, I can't reach Chug and even though I am beat I decide to hang out with Bart and Mrs Bart
Bart: What do you want to eat?
FC: Let's find a nice seafood restaurant and eat some red salmon, I feel a powerful lust for red salmon.
I begin vomiting.
God damn mescaline. Why the fuck can't they make it a little less pure?
We eventually head downstairs and order too much food. We are tired and not very hungry. Bart is still hungover and barely able to process food. His wife is grazing on all sorts of meat products. I am in awe of how they are both still upright after six nonstop nights of partying. I've only been here one day and I feel like I am about to die.
Dinner concludes with an awkward hug with bart's wife - I don't know how other men feel about wife hugs so I have just avoided the prospect entirely. Like flying through Denver on Frontier. Or flying on Frontier. Ever.
I drive over to the Wynn to set up my markers and the poker room is full. I draw a $2500 marker at the craps table and watch the game a bit. I have never played craps before in my life but the three people there seem to be having fun.
I look down at my phone and I realize a plane has landed. fluffy_butternut has landed in Las Vegas on business. I had lost a bet and offered to pick him up from the airport. I cash back in my chips against my casino credit and head back to my car. I cannot find my car. Fuck. I wander the wynn garage which is covered in construction debris. I eventually find it and haul ass to the airport. Now, I didn't know this but fluffy has the WORST SENSE OF DIRECTION AT ALL. Seriously. I have no idea how he even made it to the correct city. He lands and has to get his bag and stuff and I circle the airport. He lets me know he's at door 77 wherever the fuck that was. I drive into the pickup portion and I see no sign. He then says he's coming up a level, and I tell him that I'll be there shortly. I park the car and Metro PD starts yelling.
Metro: You can't park your car here.
FC: Why not? Is this not a reasonable place to park?
Metro: Reasonable? You're on a sidewalk! This is the sidewalk!
I give the man a $20 and tell him to keep it running as I wander Mccarran screaming FLUFFY! HERE FLUFFY! I message fluffy to let him know I am the car parked on the sidewalk. I instantly figure out who he is having never seen a photo of him and I throw his bags into the car as we head for his hotel. I haul ass out of the airport and get the A3 on the highway.
Now this was a superior machine. Thirty nine grand worth of gimmicks and high-priced special effects. The rear windows lit up with a touch like frogs in a dynamite pond. The dashboard was full of esoteric lights and dials and meters that I would never understand.
We check in at the Rio where the desk clerk is friendly and flirty. I express amazement there is no line. Fluffy checks in and we take his bags upstairs and he offers to buy me food for driving him to the airport. I decline. We head to the bar anyways. He orders two beers and we decide to call chug. He's staying out in Summerlin or something because his company is apparently run by cheapskates. He asks if we want to hang out and shoot the shit. I say sure and ask if he wants us to pick up food or anything from CVS or something since I have the car and I'm able to do anything I want. He asks for some toothpaste. No problem. I may be an asshole on the internet but I have a heart of gold. We get some toothpaste get to the hotel.
Arriving at the lobby, we have no idea where he is. It turns out he gave us the address for the hotel across the street. We laugh and go to that lobby and shoot the shit till 3AM much to the chagrin of the hotel clerk. Fluffy has some beers and we plan on dinner the next day. I drive fluffy back and arrive at the hotel at 4. Fuck me to tears.
Wednesday, January 18th. Day 2 of SHOT show.
Alarm goes off at 7:30 AM. I wash up, eat and get breakfast. In the garage by 8:15. Nice. I get some dillo dust and check out the new Sig 220 DA/SA and SAO legions. Daddy likey. I go to a competing firm and I piss of my state sales manager by telling him his newer designed triggers suck ass. He says the company tested them and they're the same in every way. I ask him why the triggers have two different part numbers in the catalog and how come they're not interchangeable and if that's really the case, how come there's X changes in the supposedly identical pistol parts that he's holding side by side. He gets mad at me and says I'm not an expert on their product and perhaps I should take his job since I'm so smart. I agree that I'm smart and I hold firm that if he didn't want me to complain about the shitty trigger, they should stop selling guns with shitty triggers. I am nearly kicked out of the booth.
I meet up with some of my wholesale reps and I'm mid convo when I see Itsgoodsoup and his friend walking around the show. I yell SOUP but he does not hear me. So I grab his friend and find him and I tell him we should get together at dinner with fluffy and chug. He agrees.
The show winds down, I get some business done and nothing much else. We break for a shitty gunnit live lite and I take a few questions from the crowd in fluffy's suite at the Rio. Dinner is at 8 and we arrive at the restaurant late to find soup and his friend sitting at one table and chug and his girlfriend sitting at another. Perhaps we should have gotten here a little earlier. Hahaha. So, fluffy said the place is really good and I order a few of the specialties of the house. Apparently according to yelp they do a kickass peking duck. Soon to be mrs chug is a vegan. But we can eat meat in front of her. I wonder how it's served and Soup's vancouver raised asian friend tells me that they normally carve it tableside. Our vegan says as long as there's no head she's cool. We're not sure if they can fulfill that request. So we order and food starts coming out and we tell tall tales of shot show BS and other stuff. Sure enough, the duck comes out with the head. No bueno. Haha. But I decide to treat us to vegan donuts at the vegan bakery across the street later. Seven courses later we are full. Vegan bakery closed. I am committed to getting her some vegan donuts though. We head to Fremont street to gamble. Fluffy wanders about and we try craps and we're not impressed. We hit some slots and eventually I hit the craps table where chug explains the game to me. We start betting on dice. And somehow we start winning. I find that the house allows you to take 10X behind the line. No idea what this means so I plop $5 on the pass line and the point hits 6. I drop $50 behind it and it hits. We go a few rounds and leave ahead. It's 2:30 AM. Fuck. I drive everyone back to their hotel. I get to sleep around 4.
Thursday, January 19th. Day 3 of SHOT show.
Wake up at 10AM feeling like crap. Debate whether to head straight to show and wander about. Fuck it. Went to halal guys for some halal. Delicious. Got vegan donuts. Dead drop them at the Palazzo lobby for chug and his girl. Show is a bust. Literally nothing exciting. Fluffy offers to buy me dinner. One of my customers who lives in Summerlin offers to take me to dinner. I pass on fluffy and he destroys the seafood buffet at the rio. I head to Sinatra at the Wynn for dinner with my customer. All good in the hood. Chug has been invited to the Glock dinneafter party and I'm not so we all go our separate ways. I call foghorn5950 and due to some weather, he's flying home early and our plans to hangout are fucked up unless I go tonight. I grab fluffy and we head to Whiskey Down. He orders a makers and I give him a funny look. I tell the waitress make it a bulleit. Everyone laughs. I talk shop with Jeremy also from TTAG and we shoot the shit over cigars and talk about useless products. Next thing we know, chug is out of the dinner and wandering the strip. We decide to meet up at the Linq. It takes us nearly 30 minutes to get out of Whiskey Down at MGM because the waitress was awful and messed up everyone's tab. It was a fucking disaster. To boot, MGM is now charging for parking.
FC: What a bunch of fucking jews
Fluff: You should just tailgate that lady in front of you out and screw them out of the $7
FC: I should
We pull behind her and watch as she gets flustered at the awful parking machine. Her nevada license plate says VETERAN. As the gate goes up we haul ass and screw MGM out of $7. I shout "THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE" out the window as we blow right by her up to the Linq. Through fluffy's awful navigation, we wind up at the loading dock for the Linq. Eventually we find chug and gf hanging at the penny slots. They are holding vegan donuts, which she is very appreciative of. Least I could do after showing her the head. Fluffy plays the House of Cards slot machine.
He stuck $100 in, played for 6 minutes and then got really mad and hit the cash out button and $80 was left after 5 minutes.
ITS EXACTLY LIKE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT!
Chug's gf asks to play a special slot machine called kitty glitter. We ask and the linq does not offer it but Harrahs next door does. So we head over there and the slot tech finds the kitty glitter machine. Fluffy sticks a C note in there and tells her to play and have a blast. So she's banging away at the one armed bandit WHEN SUDDENLY I HEAR THE SOUND.
It's PUTTIN ON THE RITZ in shitty .wav file internal speaker format. Hahah. She's just hit the progressive jackpot on the penny KITTY GLITTER machine. THIS PLACE IS AWESOME! We cash out after some play and a good time was had by all. I dump off fluffy at the rio since it was very close and drive everyone else back. It's late, I'm tired and the Palace Station oyster bar is open 24 hours......I head over there and there's a 45 minute wait.
So, I pull out my backup bankroll and using everything chug and fluffy have taught me about craps I belly up to the $3 min table where they let you take 10x behind the line. I'm still learning and the table is slow so one of the boxmen start explaining the game to me.
Box: So if you place the 6 or the 9 or individual numbers you can bet those but you gotta pay a little juice on it like a commission
Me: Like when you buy the hook?
short pause
Box: Yeah! Exactly like that! You got this!
So I played a little and went up a bit and down a bit. As you do. Plunked $5 down on the pass line and took full odds and the point hit. This game is pretty cool! So I hung around and watched for about an hour and finally decided to eat my winnings. I take $5 off my stack and, drop it on the pass line and announce dealer bet - $5 to pass. It hits. The dealers love me.
Maybe Vegas isn't so bad after all.
http://imgur.com/a/LGhDj
I have the pan roast at the oyster bar. No line. It is DELICIOUS. I get back to the hotel at 5AM. I don't care when I wake up.
Friday, January 20th. Day 4 of SHOT show.
Wake up around noon feeling like crap. Go to show. Debate destroying milk cart with wheels with an ax borrowed from fire station. Decide against it. Gas up car and find myself out by palace station again. Played some craps, hit the buffet and went for an early sleep.
It's midnight. The neighbors in my the hotel are having sex. A LOT OF SEX. I can hear everything. I gently knock on the door. No answer. I knock slightly harder. No answer. I head back to my room and close the door just as I hear their door open. I zoom back out to find a puzzled middle aged stocky and perhaps sticky Latino man looking both ways.
I get in his line of sight.
Me: Hey. I'm next door. It sounds like you're having a lot of fun. I get it. I really do. In fact I haven't had sex since the bush administration so I'm gunning for you man I really am. But it's midnight and I have a 6am flight and a rental car to return. So trust me when I say I'm really happy for you but if you don't mind I really need to get some sleep tonight okay?
The awkward silence is deafening. He nods without saying a word and mouths okay. I give him a manly nod and thumbs up.
Me: thanks. I'd shake your hand or fist bump but well you know.....
I give him a peace sign as he goes back into his little pleasure palace and I turn to realize that I have just locked myself out of my room. I am wearing boxers, a tshirt and barefoot. I head downstairs to the lobby. The check in at the front desk resembles the TSA line at Mccarran. Normally I would not be this rude but desperate times call for desperate measures.
The line is 50 people deep. I walk past every person. Fuck your queue. I approach the desk where someone is helping a guest and I raise my right hand as if I were in a deposition to get them to stop. The staff and guest looks puzzled as the angry barefoot man clad in nothing but boxers and a "uzi does it" tshirt approaches the desk.
Me: excuse me. I don't mean to interrupt. I have an emergency. I'm up on 8 and my neighbors are having a lot of sex. I mean a LOT of sex.
(This is the same front desk clerk who actually checked me in Monday night by coincidence looks back at me very awkwardly and puzzled.)
Me: this isn't your regular sex. I'm talking this is your (I begin air humping the front desk and slapping the granite counter with my palm and grunting loudly) sex. You could hear the plan B packaging open.
At this point - the ENTIRE FRONT DESK STAFF HAS STOPPED CHECKING IN GUESTS. The people in line and are watching the show. The clerk is stunned. Speechless. Shock and awed. Crapped out and busted. The women are covering their children's eyes and ears. The men are wondering if this show requires a 2 drink minimum.
Me: now I get this is Vegas. Everyone wants a good time. It's midnight. My flight leaves at 6 which means I have to be up by 4. And this just isn't working. So I asked them to keep it down and I locked myself out of my room. So if you can make me another key or move me I'd appreciate it.
The clerk nods.
Clerk: of course. may I see your ID?
Years of ballet have prepared me for this day. I step back to make sure my genitals are still ensconced in my boxers as I pirouette and gesticulate wildly.
Me: DO I LOOK LIKE I HAVE ID?
The floor manager steps over and asks me to head down to the end of the desk where she will make me a key. I give her the room number and thank her after she offers to have security sent up to shutdown the best little whorehouse in Vegas. I tell her it may not be necessary. As I take my keys and walk away the people in line break out in raucous applause.
I take a bow and miraculously my boxer shorts don't rip. These people are my subjects and I have been crowned the the king of the three ring circus that is the circus circus lobby. Im offered a $1 tip from a kind soul but I decline.
My walk back to the hotel elevator bank is uneventful. So much so that I realize it is going too well. The other shoe, if I were wearing one felt as if it was about to drop. Suddenly a dumbass in a rascal scooter is heading toward me at flank speed as his head is turned to look at everyone BEHIND HIM. There's no way this will end well.
For you gentle readers joining us mid conversation - it's midnight and I need to be at the airport in 4.5 hours. I can just see it now. (Cue the harp noises)
Scene: Emergency room
Nurse: Allergic to anything? Me: NKDA Nurse: cause of injury? Me: what's the IC10 code for "run down by drunken buffoon on motorized wheelchair?"
I saw my life and confirmed upgraded first class seats home being given away by the Mccarran gate agent flash before my eyes and my catlike reflexes kicked in and I jumped to my left into the wall, mid 1960's Las Vegas union construction being the path of least resistance. Think "The Bodyguard" with Kevin Costner.
The buffoon barely realizes what happens. Children are amazed. "HEY MOM! Look! That guy just ran into a wall!"
Me: it was that OR GET RUN DOWN BY SOME JACKASS ON A GODDAMN SCOOTER GOING FULL SPEED DRIVING LIKE A....
I look down and a midwestern nuclear family with two children of formative age are waiting for the elevator. I change my last word.
Me: LUNATIC!
I look over to the parents.
Me: I'm really sorry. This is a family joint and I shouldn't have cursed the drunken scooter driver like that. Sorry kids.
Parent: no big deal. They've heard fucking worse.
I crack a smile at her word choice. Fucking worse. Yeah. That sounds like my evening.
After jumping into a wall, I'm now wide awake and unable to go back to sleep. I make the plane and push on time. The 737 comes to a stop short of the runway and holds. Something is wrong. The pilots come on and say that they loaded more cargo and passengers than planned so they have to redo their numbers. We're waiting on the taxiway with both engines running as they do this and the waiting music comes on. What's the first song?
Whitney Houston - "I Will Always Love You"
submitted by FirearmConcierge to guns [link] [comments]

The Stadium: What we know so far and how to voice your opinion.

What we know so far: - The Stadium will cost around $1.7 billion to $2.1 billion+ with at least $750 million in public funding.
Want your voice heard?
If you're Pro or Against the next Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee Meeting will be this Thursday September 15 at 8AM.
Stan Fulton Building 4505 S. Maryland Parkway Las Vegas, NV 89154
COMMITTEE MEMBERS: STEVE HILL CHAIRMAN Executive Director Governor's Office of Economic Development LEN JESSUP VICE CHAIRMAN President University of Nevada, Las Vegas CAROLYN GOODMAN Mayor City of Las Vegas STEVE SISOLAK Chairman Clark County Commission KRISTIN MCMILLAN President and Chief Executive Officer Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce TOM JENKIN Global President Caesars Entertainment BILL NOONAN Senior Vice President of Industry and Governmental Affairs Boyd Gaming BILL HORNBUCKLE President MGM Resorts International KIM SINATRA Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary Wynn Resorts GEORGE MARKANTONIS President and Chief Operating Officer of The Venetian and The Palazzo Las Vegas Sands Corporation MIKE SLOAN Senior Vice President of Government Relations Station Casinos
TECHNICAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE: DON BURNETTE County Manager Clark County BETSY FRETWELL City Manager City of Las Vegas GUY HOBBS Managing Director Hobbs, Ong & Associates TINA QUIGLEY General Manager Regional Transportation Commission ROSSI RALENKOTTER President and Chief Executive Officer Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority ROSEMARY VASSILIADIS Director of Aviation McCarran International Airport
Things still yet to be answered: How will property taxes sounding the stadium be handled? Will Adelson or stadium owners take a cut of these property taxes?
Will Nevada hold partial ownership in this new stadium? How will profits be handled on taxpayers money?
Also: It would be nice if we had some email address and phone numbers of the committee members. Any help in finding those would be greatly appreciated.
Links: http://news3lv.com/news/local/time-running-out-for-19-billion-las-vegas-raiders-stadium-decision http://news3lv.com/news/local/las-vegas-fans-ready-to-claim-raiders-as-fate-of-proposed-stadium-remains-in-question http://www.fieldofschemes.com/2016/09/09/11554/nevada-stadium-committee-on-950m-raiders-stadium-subsidy-can-we-get-whitewalls-with-that/ http://www.reviewjournal.com/business/stadium/roberson-urges-linking-stadium-plan-las-vegas-convention-center-upgrade http://www.reviewjournal.com/business/extension-special-tourism-panel-keeps-summer-debate-hot http://www.reviewjournal.com/business/stadium/gov-sandoval-calls-clarity-proposed-stadium-s-road-infrastructure-costs
submitted by NoodlesJefferson to vegas [link] [comments]

SHOT 2018/My tales of adventure in Las Vegas

So, you wanna go to SHOT show? You think it's all fun and games? Get to play with guns? See Jesse James and R. Lee Ermey? SHOT show is the annual pilgrimage of the unwashed masses to Las Vegas to rub elbows with youtube celebrities, bloggers and overseas businessmen copying US made equipment and share infectious disease.
If you love guns, gambling and gonorrhea - SHOT show is for you! It is not my typical idea of a good time. I am not a big fan of Las Vegas.
However: I do attend for a few reasons. First, I do enjoy travel and I'm platinum on AA so I can usually score an upgrade. Second, industry people are in there that I do hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars with business with so it's nice to put a face with the name and see what deals are out there. SHOT for me has been a bust for the past few years. Being a value guy, I want to buy at $1000 and sell at $3000 and as of recently the gun business is more like buy for $1 and sell for $1.10 if you get what I mean.
We used to do business at SHOT and now it's just checking in on foursquare, instagram and rubbing elbows with bloggers and the like. I want to make money, not spend money so this is very annoying to me.
Anyways, onto the play by play.
Monday, January 22nd. One day before SHOT show.
The TSA line is a shitshow thanks to, well TSA. I have pre check and breeze right through.
I slog my way to the lounge, as shitty as it is to wait for my winged chariot to DFW. I have gone from being in an abusive relationship with Delta to being in an abusive relationship with AA. Although if you really want to experience the battered spouse feeling, UA is a few gates over.
I board my flight to Dallas/FW and my Renton assembled chariot is having a problem with one of the ring laser gyros, the hate agent tells us we are delayed for an indeterminate amount of time. Even as an AA Plat, I have no cleared upgrades. I am number 4 on the list with one seat open to Dallas/FW. I am 39/61 for Dallas/FW to LAX.
Fuck my life.
I gate check my bags to make life easier for me and the rest of the folks slumming it. If I don't have to worry about being short on time, I like to gate check to free up bins for those who are not as fortunate. Eventually I board and ask the FA to say hi to the captain and get a ride report. Light chop all over north texas today and we're going to take the long way around the field due to wind.
Me: I guess it's true. Dallas always does seem to blow a little harder in the postseason...
CA: Hahhahaha
FO: You got that right! Go eagles!
Having brightened the day of the flight crew, I head back to my MCE seat in Y and kick back and relax by listening to my Rumours, my favorite fleetwood mac album on my ipod.
We land at Dallas an hour and a half late eating into my 4 hour spa layover I had planned. I hightail it to the Centurion lounge in terminal D, my home away from home. Thankfully I don't need a massage since I brought my friend Laura some homemade chocolate rice crispy squares and she gave me a one hour massage and gave me a happy ending.
I grab a plate and help myself to some of the excellent chicken and some mashed red potatoes and bacon It is cheesy and DELICIOUS. Between that and the poblano rice, I can feel it going straight to my thighs. No, I do not care. NOM NOM NOM
https://imgur.com/a/WBcyd
The lounge is packed. The bar is full and I grab a quick single malt as I have my meal since American's not going to feed me. They begin boarding to LAX as I walk out of the lounge. I make it to the gate and the entire plane has boarded because the screens say they are boarding group 9.
Giving the FA a friendly nod, I ask to say hi to the captain and I stride through J and say hello to the two gentlemen flying today. Aviation nerd protip: CHECK YOUR ROUTING!
I didn't, but I had a hunch since arriving from the east we'd get the ANJLL 1 or the HLYWD 1 arrival. I got a 50/50 shot. Let's see how good I am.
Drop my bags at the threshold, poke my head in.
Me: Howdy guys, we still looking good for the Hollywood 1 tonight?
CA: Man, you did your homework yes we are! GABBL transition as a matter of fact!
Damn I'm good.
FC: Nice! I know you guys take a rash of crap from drunk Parker so I like to say hello to the folks who do the heavy lifting and I'm a total airplane dork so it's cool to check the place out.
CA: I'm an airplane dork too! I'm Jeff Rowland, nice to meet ya!
SUPER nice guy. He gave me a tour of the airplane, even took a picture of me in the left seat.
https://imgur.com/a/xVIy6
Here he is showing me some stuff around the airplane. He gives me the grand tour of the 787-9 including this neat feature that actually measures how many G's they have on landing so they know whether or not they need an overweight landing inspection or not. AMAZING airplane. I'm shown all the bells and whistles and they tell me how fun the plane is to fly. Jeff takes a few pics of me in the best seat of the house. I tell the guys I'll see them at the in and out burger on Sepuldeva and I hike back to my seat in W.
The FA's were wondering where I was, and they gave away my assigned seat. I take an empty center aisle seat and make life easier for everyone. W in the 787-9 is a solid hard product. The BE Aerospace MI-Q seat is a good ride whether in it for 3 hours to LAX or 13 to CDG like I was in a few months ago. https://imgur.com/a/iPHVh
The boarding door closes for an on time departure and I watch another airplane movie - American Made with Tom Cruise. He's so dreamy. Jeff's PA's were really lame and had a whole bunch of people laughing in the back on the way to LA. The flight was not long enough. The landing is a perfect grease job on 24L and we await a tug to get towed into gate 41 at LAX. I say thanks again to the flight crew - worthy of note, http://andystravelblog.boardingarea.com/2018/01/29/pilots-lette
My next hop via a 737 to LAS is uneventful. I stop at the Centurion lounge for some freshly squeezed OJ. It is DELICIOUS as AA's app tells me my bags are being unloaded.
I grab my things and hop in the last car Hertz has in the gold section - a 2016 Toyota Corolla. Times are rough. I'm at Circus Circus again. I check in and tell the lady about the last time I was there with the neighbors and the extremely loud sex. Full story: tail end of this - https://www.reddit.com/guns/comments/5podeq/shot_2017my_tales_of_adventure_in_las_vegas/
She damn near busts a gut laughing and upgrades me to a skyrise room and gives me a line pass and complimentary buffet.
I arrive to my room where housekeeping has not cleaned it to my exacting specifications. Specifically, there are like three hairballs from a cat in the chair next to the desk. I ask for another room and they set it up for me. It's now 1AM. In and out burger is closed.
Fuck.
Tuesday, January 23rd SHOT Show Day One
You gotta get into the palazzo garage before 8AM or you are not getting a spot. I get in at 8:01 and miraculously find a spot. They are doing so much construction at the resort that I don't recognize it. I grab my pass and check in with some other industry associates. My first day is semi-eventful as I check out the sig 365, a very promising concealed carry product as well as a few other really neat things and many many useless items.
I run into u/chugbleach in the basement and we trade stories. He shows me some neat stuff he's been working on. We plan to dine later in the week and I continue walking the show when I see the most amazing booth ever.
Backstory: https://www.reddit.com/guns/comments/7ag6oj/gsg_stg_44/dp9u9hw/
I let fluff buy the hook, he posts $120 to win $100 if he gets his HMG gun by the end of Q1. If gun arrives on time, he gets $100 from me. If no, I get $120 from him.
I walk back to chug.
FC: DUDE DUDE DUDE YOU GOTTA SEE THIS COME QUICK
CB: Okay lets go
We walk briskly not 100 feet. I stop quickly. Chug looks confused.
I gesticulate wildly to our right.
This is what we see.
I crack up laughing and can barely contain myself. This is the greatest thing I have seen in weeks.
On that note it is time to take a break for lunch. I head up to one of my vendors who has a hospitality suite for the show and they are serving jambalaya for lunch every day. As a Louisiana boy, we do love jambalaya. There's a reason I spend lots of money with them. I eat and have a coke as I trade gun jokes with other gun dealers. I wander around the show and nothing else jumps at me.
I walk the footbridge over to the Wynn to see how the house is doing. The poker room is full. I draw $2500 from my credit line and head down to the craps table to throw some dice. I have some mixed success as it's getting late and I want to hit the in and out burger so as I'm getting ready to leave, Laura sends me a bunch of filthy text messages about what she wants to do to me when I get back. My chips and raging boner leave the tables quickly as I duck into the bathroom to tell her that if she wants to treat me like a prisoner on a conjugal visit - I went to 8 years of catholic school, she's entering a world of pain. She says game on.
After a quick trip to the cage to cash out, I'm up or down something like $100. I swing by in and out burger for a double double. It is delicious. Sleepy time.
Wednesday, January 24th. Day 2 of SHOT show.
Alarm goes off at 7:45 AM. I wash up, eat and get breakfast. In the garage by 8:15. Still manage to find a spot! Attendance is down this year. I get in line at Larue. They run out of dillo dust at 8:39. This is the line at 8:35 https://imgur.com/a/KLHrg
The show opens at 8:30. Fuck my life. I grab a dillo and some stickers for some friends and a few HK calendars. I wander around and talk to the guys over at Franklin Armory and their new SBR that isn't an SBR, SBS that isn't an SBS and rifle that isn't really a rifle BUT IS STILL A FIREARM. The projectiles they want to sell have fin stabilization and it's like a 55 grain flying Lombardi trophy. It's an interesting idea but I'm not 100% certain I would buy one personally. I trade war stories with a few other friends I meet up with at the show. I head down to the basement and I'm looking at a few accessories from Tactical Walls.
Just as I'm ready to leave - Joe Mantegna shows up and says hi to the reps.
FC: Mr Mantegna! I love your work! Can I get a picture?
JM: Sure.
Someone grabs my phone and snaps a pic
FC: You are great in the simpsons as Fat Tony. Just the best!
JM: (in fat tony voice) I don't get mad. I get stabby.
FC: That's awesome! Thanks! Enjoy the show!
I send the pics to some friends who enjoy snappy Mamet plays and they are all jealous. I head down to the basement. The ATF booth is vacant due to the government shutdown. So is the FBI booth. Oh well. I head upstairs to the manufacturer supplier section and I find out that Olympic Arms is still in business making things. I do a lap and get some business cards from some precision machine companies that can make some elaborate parts. Jambalaya again for lunch. Nom nom nom.
I head down to FN to talk shop with the guys down there and give them shit. FN's new innovation is a two tone FDE/Black gun. So now 50% of the gun does not have to match. I trade barbs with Mike Hoffman and we debate the age old question, is it really gay if you can suck your own cock? Just as I mention this, Steve Bannon shows up at the booth. That's my stop. I say hello to the director of commercial sales on my way out and go to the Knights booth where I find they're making 6.5 Creed stuff now. Interesting how quickly that cartridge has caught on. I talk shop with a few of the KAC guys and then I steal some more HK Kalendars for friends back home.
I hit the Circus Circus buffet with my free pass for the unpleasantness and it is not that great at all. They ran out of roast beef. I mean, really? SHOT SHOW IS IN TOWN! We are beef eating gun owners, and you're gonna run out of roast beef? This would never happen at the Wynn, an amazing property. I make a mental note to sell my MGM Mirage stock and buy some Wynn in the morning. I head back to the craps table and lose a shitload of money. I witness a heater happen after I color up and watch people go nuts. My luck at MGM properties has not been good. Ugh. I don't feel like doing gunnit live and head to sleep early.
Thursday, January 25th. Day 3 of SHOT show.
I message Chug and let him know that it's gotta be tonight if we're gonna hang since I fly out Friday night for Boston. We plan to make plans for dinner. I head to the show and get there at 3 minutes to 8. One of my best customers calls me wanting an XM2010. I head over to Remington and through some finagling they manage to say YES WE CAN SELL IT EVEN THOUGH WE ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO SELL IT. I work up a quote and get the customer the info and tell him what's what. I visit the nighthawk custom booth where they have a new gun chambered in .45 APC.
https://imgur.com/a/9bNe7
I kid with a few FBI guys about their attention to detail. I saunter about the show. Leatherman Tool Group always has some nice things to play with. Tim Leatherman is engraving tools for people with his autograph. I'm happy with all of his products I own and I stop by to shake his hand and tell him that my wave has saved my ass on a hundred different occasions and I once resurrected a Ford off the side of the road. He says he loves hearing the stories and he's a pretty nice guy.
I wander about a little more and I find myself over at the Emerson Knife Company booth looking around.
For those not in the know, Emerson has a bunch of specwar types as customers. Damn good knives and operator customers. One of them is behind the table wearing a badge that says JOHN SMITH - JOHN SMITH INC. He's got arms that are as thick as my legs and he looks like a Navy Seal. He bolts upright from his seat and looks at my wrist.
"Is that a 1675?"
FC: Sure is! Damn good eye! My dad won it in an underground poker game in Hong Kong in 1968 from a couple of navy guys on shore leave that flew F4's off Dixie Station.
"Holy crap, that's fucking awesome!"
We talk watches and guns and killing people for a while. He says he's in the navy and the budweiser insignia necklace he is wearing tells me everything I need to know. Nice guy. I wonder what his real name is as the show closes down and as I walk out the magpul booth gives me a laugh. A paper sign on the door says "DOOR IS LOUD AF CLOSE GENTLY"
I'm not kidding - https://imgur.com/a/GgSkU
I head over to Chug's hotel and he gives me the grand tour. It's way nicer than my hotel. We go out and have dinner. I'm asked if I like Thai.
FC: Tie good, you like shirt?
Nobody gets my simpsons jokes. We go to dinner where a good time is had by all. Chug gets a call and needs to drop off a SHOT show pass to a co-worker of his flying in. As opposed to all the mechanics of a dead drop at the palazzo etc I tell him fuck it, just give it to me and I'll pick him up from the airport. In exchange, I tell him I want all the leftover chicken wings from the Thai place.
It's a deal. I grab the wings and head to McCarran. There's a guy in a BRZ hauling ass and I decide to see what this shitbox can do. I get the Corolla up to 115 MPH on the highway before backing down to a more sensible speed. After 5 minutes of MARCO / POLO I find the fellow and give him his shot show pass and a ride to his hotel. I find it funny that last year I ran an unapproved uber substitute and here we are again and the same thing is happening. I'm offered gas money or a beer after the show and I tell him hey, it's your first time at SHOT - enjoy the show, don't sweat it.
I hightail it up the strip to the Palazzo where I play a bit and eventually see a heater in progress. I split the 6/8 for $120 each and they hit. I press it and they hit again. Maybe this won't be a bad trip after all. Table craps out and I cash out still down a few bucks but better than when I started.
By the time I make it back to the room, it's 4AM. I eat the chicken wings. They're delicious.
Friday, January 26th. Day 4 of SHOT show.
I've gotten most of what I want to get done, done. I ordered some Firearm Instructor body armor from one of my guys since lots of people want me dead first thing in the AM and things were going good. I sleep in and debate what I want for breakfast when I realize things are going a little too good. Nothing really bad has happened this trip yet. I pack up and get ready to leave the hotel when I get a push notification.
MOTHERFUCKER
My flight to Boston has been canceled.
My confirmed first class seats on one of the hardest to upgrade legs in the entire AA route network - LAX to BOS, gone. AA proactively books me on the flight leaving LA a few hours later IN COACH. A middle seat, even. No, just no. I call American and they tell me the plane is broken. Damnit. I look on the app for acceptable reroutings and there is nothing available in first. I say fuck it, I'll deal with this shit later. I have the rental car until midnight, lots of time to make a new plan. I check out of the hotel, throw my bags in the car and head down to the show and it's a freaking ghost town. Parking spaces everywhere. I say bye to a few folks as my phone sends me a notification. WSJ: STEVE WYNN ACCUSED OF DECADES OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
Oh FUCK MY LIFE. I bought the stock back on Wednesday. GODDAMNIT STEVE WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS BULLSHIT
I skip lunch and walk across the street to the Wynn and their corporate office.
You see, I have a simple theory. If the allegations are false, they should have no problem sending someone out to listen to my concerns and say the allegations are false and here's everything we're doing to fight it. If the allegations are true, they'll send down hired goons to throw me out the door.
It's sorta like spousal infidelity. If A finds evidence of B cheating, credit card statements, sexts, racy pictures, etc - and A confronts B and B admits it and says I want a divorce, B is guilty. If B says A is cheating on them what the fuck are you doing looking at my credit card statements and phone you're the one that's wrong and invading my privacy get the fuck out of my house - B is really guilty.
That's the theory. If they go full retard and bounce me off the property, the stock is probably going to go down some more. If they address the concerns, things should not be as bad.
Since I walked through the property the last time I was in town, I knew where the corporate office was. The name on my broker statement says WYNN RESPORTS and so did the sign on the doors. I walk through the doors and to the end of the hallway where there's another electronically locked door that is unlocked.
There's a security guard who is nonplussed sitting at a desk wondering if I'm lost. I explain to him that I'm a shareholder and I want to know what this company is doing about this catastrophe. He says he can't say/do anything and I'm instructed to leave. I ask him if he can take a message. He says yes, and I'm like you just said you can't do anything. So what's that supposed to mean?
I argue with him about what he supposedly can and cannot do as I eat raspberry macrons that have been plated at the reception area of the corporate office. THESE BETTER BE THE BEST FUCKING MACARONS I HAVE EVER EATEN GODDAMNIT. They are. Fuck.
He tells me that my best bet is to talk to someone else at the resort, not him. Fine.
I leave and head to the concierge desk - because from one concierge to another, we can solve problems. I explain the situation and instead of routing me to the press office or investor relations - they give me a phone and tell me to speak to guest services. AKA the people that help you with your stay as a guest of the hotel. I give the lady taking the message about 15 minutes worth of comments and she's assured me that they'll be passed along to management.
Given the circumstances I think that's the best I'm going to do today. Now, there's the issue of me being stuck in vegas for another night. I look down at my phone and AA has offered three itineraries flying out of McCarran tomorrow IN FIRST CLASS that gets me to Boston in a timely fashion. I jump on the 625AM flight to Charlotte. This means I need to be at the car rental by 525AM and out the door around 0430. Fuck my life. And I have nowhere to sleep/showeshit/shave.
As I'm walking back to the esplanade to cross back over to the Palazzo where my car is, I notice the registration desk. I get in line and a lovely lady asks what she can do for me.
I tell her that I'm a shareholder and I'm pretty mad about the way the company is handling their sex offender in chief. And given the $18 haircut I took on the stock today, if there's an angry shareholder discount on a room tonight I think that would be more than fair given the circumstances. She agrees and gets me a bottle of water and the manager. The manager asks me if I've stayed at the hotel before, the answer is yes and asks to see my ID so she can see if she can plug me in at a repeat guest rate.
A few minutes go by and I wait patiently at the desk when I'm tapped on the shoulder.
There's two former NFL linebackers, one with his back towards me and the other introducing himself as the director of security.
Hmmm. Lets see. For those not in the know, there's only one exit in and out of the wynn registration desk.
If there's two bodies on me, there's gotta be at least two more at each side of the wall behind it that I can't see, I figure 4 sets of eyes running the eye in the sky all with their eyes glued to the monitors, the director of security is holding my ID which means he's already got my play, my comps, my markers, run me through central credit, my red card, he's got metro running me for wants/warrants and there's probably an unmarked metro ford next to a service exit with an open door and a seat reserved for me in the back.
I look down at my watch. The market is closed. I can't sell. Fuck. Because there is no way in hell this stock is holding $180 monday morning.
Quickly, I bang out a message to my brother letting him know I am about to be arrested at the Wynn and to start googling Las Vegas bail bonds.
The two security guys tell me to step away from the front desk and they want to know what the hell I'm doing. I tell them I want answers from the management of this company about how they're handling this disaster. They say I can't just walk into a casino corporate office and ask to speak to someone.
Well, I just did. Why can't I?
They said it represents a major security risk and a breach of their perimeter. After all, Mr. Wynn takes his security at the hotel very seriously.
Me: I suppose if I were a sex offender with hired goons, I'd take my security seriously too. And if you really didn't want people going back there - last time I checked, this is a casino. The doors have locks. Perhaps you should have oh I don't know, locked them?
Wynn Security: What makes you think you can just walk in here and talk to us like that?
Me: I'm a stockholder. Technically you work for me.
Wynn Security: You honestly expect that a big company like us is going to send someone out of the corporate office to talk to a guy like you about a thing like this? That never happens in corporate america.
Me: That's strange. Michael Moore did exactly that and that's what made him famous. What's your point?
We bantered in the registration area of the Wynn for something like an hour and 45 minutes as the director of security wandered back and forth. They never backed down with the questions and I never backed down from the answers. A lot of casino security is former law enforcement so they're looking for that time you change your story like on an episode of cops. For instance, if it was cops it would go like
Cop: who's drugs are these?
1: Never seen em before
fast forward 2 min
1: I mean my friend smokes pot, maybe it's his
Cop: I thought you said you never seen em before?
fast forward 2 min
1: So I smoke a little pot okay
Cop: I thought you said it might be your friends pot?
fast forward 2 min
1: yeah it's my pot
They were looking for a reason to throw me out and as far as I can tell, they probably still are. I'm sorta expecting a registered letter in the mail barring me from the property in a week. If I start yelling, it's disorderly conduct and they have a case. If start pushing someone around, same thing. But if I speak candidly and gesticulate wildly and raise cogent points about how every single hotel employee I've dealt with thus far owns a combined total of zero shares in the company - they have no skin in the game and I do. So, they can't really criticize my opinion as wrong because I'm the stockholder not them. At least, that's my opinion. I could be wrong.
Well, the goons disagreed with me and said I was wrong. They also said that this could have been accomplished with a phone call. I said no, because you wouldn't take a phone call seriously. And now you're taking this seriously. So, match point: FC.
They didn't like that. It would not surprise me in the least if Steve Wynn was in the security booth with a radio telling his guys to find some reason to arrest me and have me sent to Clark County booking. This guy just feels guilty as sin. I can't prove it but my gut has usually been right about this sort of thing.
As I'm waiting for my inevitable arrest and booking, I wonder if American Airlines will allow me another flight change due to temporary incarceration. Because there's no way I'll be able to leave the state with an ROR or a signature bond out. I look over at Mean Joe Greene Jr and tell him I was too angry to eat lunch and I'd like to have a seat before my blood sugar crashes and my head hits the floor and Steve sends me a bill for the shattered italian marble.
He gestures towards a chair in the reception area and I have a sit. He offers to bring me another water. I decline. He brings me a water anyways. I consume both the waters as compliments of the house as a sign of untoward cooperation.
Out of the corner of my eye I see the director of security talking to two metro PD guys with handcuffs out. I hear over the radio they're asking for a rover to take me down to the security office for fingerprinting and photographs. He is gesticulating wildly.
The director of security comes back over and he tries to get me to crack on my story. I tell him I'm here as a shareholder as a private citizen demanding accountability of the management. I will not apologize for walking through an unlocked door to the corporate office asking to speak to someone to hear out my concerns, I will not apologize for going to the concierge since the previous person was very unhelpful and I will not apologize for expecting the highest standards of a fortune 1000 company chairman and CEO. And until you pony up and buy some stock, I'm not about to take a lecture about what is and isn't acceptable behavior from people who don't have skin in the game protecting what should be by all accounts a registered sex offender.
He looks back at Metro PD.
They shrug.
They've got nothing chargeable on me.
Hell, I'm not even counting cards this time.
Next thing I know he quickly walks away and returns with a late 20's hispanic fellow who introduces himself as the hotel manager. He says that he's gotten a report from security and that Mr. Wynn's private life he cannot comment on but the concerns I have will be sent up towards management.
FC: So you're the hotel manager? So you report to Matt Maddox. You tell him that this is a mess. Nobody comes back from this sort of thing. Not Harvey Weinstein. Not Louis CK. Not Matt Lauer. Not Bill O'Reilly. Not Bill Cosby. Not Kevin Spacey. Not Charlie Rose. Not Al Franken. And the LAST time this happened at Mirage, a shareholder revolt wound up sending the company into the hands of MGM. What's to stop Sheldon from across the street from doing the same thing? You tell them that.
The manager nods and offers me a room at a rate, inclusive of resort fee and taxes of $335/night. I take out my phone, look at the Hotel Tonight app and realize that I'm being charged more money than if I were to book the room from a consolidator.
Now, I don't mind the lie about understanding where I'm coming from. I do mind the insult to my intelligence. I am handed back my ID and the hotel manager offers his business card. I take his business card and go over to the cage. I close my credit line and take my deposit out of the cage. I'm down for the trip. Fuck this shit, I'll deal with it later. I call my brother and tell him that I've been released. We look at some flights and to get back to Boston will require another night in Las Vegas. Everything leaving tonight is full due to the conventions closing up.
AA has some seats open in first via Charlotte and Philly, I take the Charlotte flight leaving at 6:30 AM from McCarran and they confirm me seats in first all the way to Logan. This is the only thing to go right today. I purchase some clean clothes since I will not have time to do laundry in Boston anymore due to the delay and head over to the palace station oyster bar. The wait is about 2 hours but I make some friends in line while I'm there. I am torn between the alaskan chowder and the bouillabaisse. I ask Steve behind the bar what he thinks is best. He says do the bouillabaisse. I tell him that sounds excellent, and to add extra lobster. I ask him how long, he says could be 30 minutes but check back in 20. I tell him I'm gonna go hit the tables and I'll be back in 20. The timer on my phone begins counting down.
I belly up to the nearest craps table and I drop my cash down. I tell them I want it in black and red and the croupier complies. I bet the 6/8 split with mixed success and the pass line with odds. The shooter misses the point. I look down at my dwindling stack of chips and there's 15 minutes left.
Fuck it. Go big or go home. Lets get this shit over with. The point comes off. I drop $100 on the pass line. New shooter gets the dice and the come out roll hits a 10.
I look at the gal with the whip. I throw her a stack of chips.
FC: Full odds on the ten, $200 hard way, give me all the numbers and a nickel c and e.
New shooter proceeds to hit every number on the board, midnight, yo and a speed limit. Pass line pays even money. Pass odds pays 2-1. I'm looking down at a big stack of chips. What the fuck just happened?
I drop $100 on the pass line again, the point comes out for an 8. I take full odds and all the numbers. New shooter hits every number on the board, midnight, yo, except the 8. The guy next to me has the all or nothing at all working so the only thing left to hit is the 8 and it's gonna pay 175:1. The 8 does not hit. Everyone is chasing the 8'er from Decatur.
I look down at my stack and the table limit and the boxman.
FC: hey Joe, what's the juice on laying the 8?
Joe: 5 points!
I take down my pass line odds.
FC: I want everything off and I'll lay the 8 for a dime.
Everyone at the table looks at me like I'm a lunatic. I slide over two purple chips and two green for the vig.
Time remaining until bouillabaisse: 8 minutes.
Lets see what happens. The dice bang around a bunch of more times. I'm ahead for this trip. Way ahead. Next thing I know, the gal with the whip calls no roll. One of the dies have left the table.
Time remaining until bouillabaisse: 4 minutes.
This is my stop.
FC: Take down my lay, and I'll color up.
The boxman colors me up, I leave a nice tip for the crew and start to walk over to the cage to cash in. I hear screaming and profanity, I turn around and I see the dealers stacking chips. The shooter has 7'd out.
Time remaining until bouillabaisse: 2 minutes.
There's a long line at the cage. I walk back to the oyster bar and I see a big bowl with a plate covering it. Steve behind the bar has thought of everything.
I turn the plate over and look down at my stack of chips. Maybe today won't be so bad after all.
https://imgur.com/a/bjK7R
The bouillabaisse is delicious. The win is even more delicious. I nom my way to the bottom of the bowl and settle up the bill. I leave Steve a nice tip as I head over to the Palazzo to say hi to some friends. I find myself at a craps table you can hang meat upon. This is not good. It's getting late and I head over to my room at the Mandalay Bay.
Now, here's the fucked up part. This girl I've been hooking up with didn't hook up with me before I left for SHOT. She's been messing with my brain for a whole week. I check in to the Mandalay Bay where there's a goddamn pornstar convention going on.
FML.
I find myself down at a craps table at 11PM and bringing a frontier flight attendant named Amber back to my room. The lucky streak continues. My flight leaves in a few hours. I kick her out of my room and pass out.
Flight leaves at 625 for CLT. Need to be at McCarran at 525. Out the door of the hotel by 5AM at the latest. I set my alarm.
*Saturday, January 27th. *
I wake up to see the sun shining through my hotel room. I look down at the alarm clock. 8:01AM.
My long standing joke is that I sleep like a dead prostitute. The evening of ravenous illegal in 48 states sex has taken its toll. Fuck. I grab the phone and press the button for guest services. I turn on the speaker as I open my bag wide and just stuff everything in as fast as I can. I throw my boots on as I tell them to check me out over the phone. I haul ass downstairs to the garage and I get to McCarran and board the shuttle to Terminal 1. I walk up to the AA desk knowing I am 11 different kinds of fucked. Nancy the gate agent starts working on my departure. AA's rule is 2 hours from departure on a flat tire. That's 8:25 AM. It's a few minutes before 9. Nancy the great agent cannot get anything to work. She has to put me in the special services line. By the time I get there, they tell me I'm flying standby and I'm on the flight to Philly leaving at 1PM in the afternoon. There is no way in hell they can get me on the 10AM to Phoenix.
My cousin is getting married in Boston and she is going to fucking kill me. I told her I'd be there around 6PM on the rebooking. And now I'm going to be leaving for Philly in 4 hours. Granted, the Amex Centurion Lounge has freshly squeezed OJ but that's not going to be enough today. I run to TSA and get cleared. I run past the Centurion to head straight for the Phoenix gate. Hopefully other folks have had an irish layover. The gate agent there starts working me and she says that they have two open seats and that they're gonna get me on. Just sit tight. I step to the side to let her help a few other folks gate check bags. The clock is ticking and her colleague closes the boarding door as I'm standing next to the gate looking fucked. I take a deep breath and try to keep it together.
A tap on the shoulder.
"Sir, your boarding pass. Exit row window. I've taken the liberty and called back to make sure there's space in the overhead for my bags so you don't have to gate check. You are good to go."
I look up at the three ladies working the podium.
FC: Can I hug any of you?
Gate Agent 1: No
Gate Agent 2: I'm sick
Gate Agent 3: Sure, why not?
I head behind the counter and give her a hug. She seems pleased.
I hightail it to the door. Gate agent 2 opens it up for me. I run down the jetway like a charging rhino, Chris Christie like. The flight attendants greet me by name and they realize that my nose is bleeding from the 8 ball I shared with Amber a few hours back. The FA points at my nose and asks me if I'd like to step into the lav. I realize it's probably pretty bad. I leave my bags in the galley and duck in and I stuff a bunch of paper in my nose as an ersatz tampon. I walk back out, grab my bags and I declare to the entire plane it's the dry air not a cocaine problem.
Nobody believes me.
I take my seat and there's an empty seat between me and an in uniform FA on the way home. We chat a bit and Cathy thinks my story is hilarious. She even gets on AA's PALL list for the flight to Boston and checks and says I'm number one on standby R4. A nice lady, I offer her one of my extra LaRue Dillo's. She thinks they're cute.
The working FA walks back and looks down at the traveling FA and says very discreetly there's a 40 minute ground hold due to PHX losing a runway. This is gonna be really really tight. My connecting flight to Boston is not looking good. We wait the 40 minutes for the hold and make it to PHX about 15 minutes behind schedule. I bolt to the Boston gate. I ask if they've cleared all the standby passengers. They say yes. I say I should be number one and they hand me a ticket in coach.
FC: Any way I can talk you into a seat in the front of the plane?
The hate agent just looks at me funny. He does not seem to think that's happening. He asks me if I have status on the airline. Sure do. He says no promises.
I tell him no sweat, I'm gonna go take a leak and come back around in 5.
I walk back up and he hands me my new boarding pass.
https://imgur.com/a/IJuPe
I call my cousin and tell her that I'm gonna be a few hours late. Great ride all the way into Boston. I sleep like a dead prostitute.
https://imgur.com/a/RKMSu
Just as we cruise past the city of big shoulders, the FA wakes me up.
"Mr Hayden, would you like some ice cream?"
I look at my neighbor who is a middle age female executive and she is plowing through hers like Sherman through Atlanta.
FC: You know what, Chuck? I've always wanted to say this. I'll have what she's having.
https://imgur.com/a/our5R
Ice cream on the ground, delicious.
Ice cream on a plane, FUCKING FANTASTIC.
FC out.
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The Stadium: What we know so far and how to voice your opinion.

What we know so far: - The Stadium will cost around $1.7 billion to $2.1 billion+ with at least $750 million in public funding.
Want your voice heard?
If you're Pro or Against the next Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee Meeting will be this Thursday September 15 at 8AM.
Stan Fulton Building 4505 S. Maryland Parkway Las Vegas, NV 89154
COMMITTEE MEMBERS: STEVE HILL CHAIRMAN Executive Director Governor's Office of Economic Development LEN JESSUP VICE CHAIRMAN President University of Nevada, Las Vegas CAROLYN GOODMAN Mayor City of Las Vegas STEVE SISOLAK Chairman Clark County Commission KRISTIN MCMILLAN President and Chief Executive Officer Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce TOM JENKIN Global President Caesars Entertainment BILL NOONAN Senior Vice President of Industry and Governmental Affairs Boyd Gaming BILL HORNBUCKLE President MGM Resorts International KIM SINATRA Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary Wynn Resorts GEORGE MARKANTONIS President and Chief Operating Officer of The Venetian and The Palazzo Las Vegas Sands Corporation MIKE SLOAN Senior Vice President of Government Relations Station Casinos
TECHNICAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE: DON BURNETTE County Manager Clark County BETSY FRETWELL City Manager City of Las Vegas GUY HOBBS Managing Director Hobbs, Ong & Associates TINA QUIGLEY General Manager Regional Transportation Commission ROSSI RALENKOTTER President and Chief Executive Officer Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority ROSEMARY VASSILIADIS Director of Aviation McCarran International Airport
Things still yet to be answered: How will property taxes sounding the stadium be handled? Will Adelson or stadium owners take a cut of these property taxes?
Will Nevada hold partial ownership in this new stadium? How will profits be handled on taxpayers money?
Also: It would be nice if we had some email address and phone numbers of the committee members. Any help in finding those would be greatly appreciated.
Links: http://news3lv.com/news/local/time-running-out-for-19-billion-las-vegas-raiders-stadium-decision http://news3lv.com/news/local/las-vegas-fans-ready-to-claim-raiders-as-fate-of-proposed-stadium-remains-in-question http://www.fieldofschemes.com/2016/09/09/11554/nevada-stadium-committee-on-950m-raiders-stadium-subsidy-can-we-get-whitewalls-with-that/ http://www.reviewjournal.com/business/stadium/roberson-urges-linking-stadium-plan-las-vegas-convention-center-upgrade http://www.reviewjournal.com/business/extension-special-tourism-panel-keeps-summer-debate-hot http://www.reviewjournal.com/business/stadium/gov-sandoval-calls-clarity-proposed-stadium-s-road-infrastructure-costs
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Walking Thru Bellagio on the Las Vegas Strip - YouTube

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